Sinking Down

Published: December 16, 2012
Sinking Carrier


The New Orleans Hornets went 0-3 on the week despite Anthony Davis’ return to limited action, dropping their record to 5-17, `good’ for last in the West by two games, and fourth-worst in the NBA ahead of the Wizards, Cavaliers, and Raptors. The Hornets are 0-1 against these `peers’ of theirs.

In the loss to the Wizards, the Hornets “played down to their level.” After racing to an 11 point lead in relatively strong showing the fourth quarter, the Hornets gave up five then two in the next quarters. Then, they lost the fourth by 11, scoring only 10 points and undoing their relatively strong performance with a relatively weak one.

Against the Thunder, the loss was strangely similar, despite the disparity between the aggregate performance of the two opponents in other games. The Hornets won the first two quarters by two points and six points, then lost the fourth only by four. This lead was not enough to help losing the quarter by eight. The similarity, however, is playing to the level of competition.

In losing to the Timberwolves, there’ no need to slice and dice. The Timberwolves had an ORB% of 37.8. That is all.

The good news is Austin Rivers is showing that some of his work is paying off, even in just some flashes here or there. Also, the Hornets’ three point woes are abating, though they are not gone. The Timberwolves starters went 7 for 11 in about 36 minutes, going about 41% overall . . . and they are the worst three point shooting team in the NBA even after that performance.


The return of Anthony Davis is not what was hoped in two respects. One, his playing time limited to around 28m thus far. We’ll see how he does in Portland. Two, his level of play is not where it was when he left. This is clearly take time to return, but this return to the court is not a return to the prior performance. This will take a little longer. Still, as long as his injury is not being aggravated, this is the best thing for him and for the team.

In a case of giveth-ing and taketh-ing, Jason Smith is out for a couple of weeks with a torn labrum. This couple of weeks does not rule out surgery that will require even more time out. This is the minimum. Jimmy Smith does a good job of detailing the range injuries this term can really mean. Given an earlier injury that could be considered a dislocation (shoulder bones moved from the joint, then back in. If this happened again here but with more damage being done, surgery is a virtual necessity to prevent a cascade of ever-more-likely dislocations. This is, of course, totally dependent on what damage was done and why.

In a move to fill the gap possibly left by Smith, the Hornets have signed Forward Dominic McGuire. The power forward won’t be helping with any three balls, as he’s 3 for 16 during his five year career. He was recently released by Toronto, and will likely receive the minimum salary.

Eric Gordon is now eligible to be traded, but he has to approve any trade in which he involved through the year. On July 1, 2013, Demps can move him without approval until the last year of his deal. At that point, he has the approval power again, but for a different reason. The current reason is that his contract is due to a team matching that of another team in a restricted free agency transaction. In the future situation, it will be because he’s a Bird player on the last year of a deal. This will apply to any team on which he is playing.

Also, Jen Hale reports that he is on track to return to action by the end of the year.


The Arena’s LED boards are sporting some ads. Besides Hornets games, they are advertising Arena and Dome events, which is expected as SMG and the LSED is banking on such advertising inventory. Additionally, mid-major sponsors have ads on the screens now: Pepsi, Cox, Zatarain’s, and Fox Sports New Orleans.

Some minor changes in sponsorship are noted, these being of interest since it shows that the Hornets are benefiting from the Saints’ business ties. For instance, Mercedes-Benz is now a sponsor, as is Nicoll’s limousine (a random sponsor I remember).

Gatorade is a newer sponsor, coming on with Pepsi, showing that PepsiCo’s total contribution is not limited to the Pepsi brand. Getting existing sponsors to buy in more heavily is a positive sign, as it not only shows that the team is viewing each deal as a `win’, but that the sponsors see value and up their investment.

These are small positive signs.

Around the Site

This week saw an explosion from Austin Rivers as he scored 27 points on 14 shots against Minnesota. Russ took a look at which lineup would most likely favor these kinds of nights.

Rivers got many of those points from making three-point shots. Ryan Anderson is far-and-away the Hornets’ go-to three-point shooter. Nice pickup, wasn’t he? Mike takes a look at finding the next Ryan Anderson.

Mike and Ryan had two podcasts this week. In the first, the guys fielded calls from readers and discussed Austin Rivers. The second was focused on trades now that the market is more populated than it was just days ago.

`Voices’ of the People

Really??? not a single mention of Greivis Vasquez’s 17 assists?? Really?


On a night where Rivers has 27 points on 14 shots you want to to throw him in the trash? AD was pressing in the 4th and needed some rest, Monty isn’t going to push him too hard coming back from an injury. Chill man.


While at the grocery store the other day some guy tries to beat me to a box of Cheerios by attempting a back door cut….by using my footwork and reading the play i defended the passing lane and took away his cutting space…he attempted to swing out to the other side off a pin down but again failed since i quickly slipped in between grocery carts to re establish by defense…….he walked out of the store frustrated…

Hornets were horrible reading and reacting last night.

Gerry V

42 Sense

Ryan Anderson is carrying a ton of weight these days, being the only Hornets three-point shooting threat in terms of both accuracy and volume. What should we expect to see from him, though?

Taking is averages on the season thus far of about 8 attempts per game and 42% accuracy, he’ll make 0 or 1 of those attempts around 9% of the time. At the other end, he’ll make 6, 7, or 8 of the attempts around 6% of the time. In the middle, he’ll hit 2 or 3 45% of the time, leaving 40% of the time where he’ll make 4 or 5 of the 8.

The above will all completely change depending on how defenses approach Mr. Anderson, and will of course need some rough adjustment when he attempts something other than 8 three-point shots.

In terms of streaks, the most likely streak is 0, with 58%. The 42% of the time he makes a shot breaks down roughly as 24% making only a single basket followed by a miss, 10% as streaks of 2 consecutive threes followed by a miss, and 4% of the time for the hat trick. A streak of length four has a 2% chance, with the longer streaks each having a chance of less than 1% rounding out the balance sheet.

The streak probabilities differ only by a percent or so from an average NBA shooter (35.7% for this season as of yesterday). Thus, it is quite difficult to focus on these to detect how Anderson’s play differs from the rest of the NBA. In fact, though he leads the NBA in attempts and makes of the three-ball, there are 6 players making the shot at a higher rate with over 100 attempts. OJ Mayo is hitting at over 51%, incredibly, destroying his 37% rate prior to this season.

Back to Anderson, what makes him special is the fact that he can do this while being an effective rebounder and more. His game continues to improve, which is also notable.

We just should not expect magic from him, or any other player, in most games. It’s just not in the cards.


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